|Drew Carey (2003)|
Damon Wayans (2004)
| Holly Robinson-Peete & Jamie Kennedy (2003)|
Tom Bergeron (2004)
Pepsi's Play for a Billion was a special where the winners of a promotion from Pepsi get a chance to win one million dollars and then have a chance to win a billion.
The winners of the promotion each choose a 6-digit number. Through use of a computerized system no two players have the same number.
Meanwhile, under tight security the $1 billion number is randomly chosen: under the supervision of executives from both Pepsi and the network. One person rolls a 10-sided die. Once both executives confirm the number rolled. a billiard pool marked with said number is placed into a bag. this continues until all 6 digits have been determined. Thereafter, a chimpanzee named "Mr. Moneybags" randomly draws the 6 digits to determine the order.
Main Game (ABC version)Edit
The seven players closest to the $1 billion number are called up on stage. In each round a cash offer is made to the group. The offers start at $20,000 and grow by $10,000 in each round (culminating with a $100,000 offer in the final round). The players are given time to consider it, if a player buzzes in, they leave with the money offered and forfeit their number to another player of their choice. If no one takes the offer, the player who is furthest away leaves the game with nothing. The last player left standing wins $1,000,000 and plays for $1,000,000,000.
For the billion dollar round, the contestant number is compared with the billion dollar number digit by digit. If all six digits match the contestant wins $1 billion, otherwise they get to keep the million won earlier.
With PepsiCo unwilling to bear the risk of a potential billion dollar prize, they made arrangement with Berkshire Hathaway to insure the prize at a $10 million premium.
Had any contestant won the billion dollar prize, it would be paid in an annuity at $5 million at year for 20 years, $10 million a year for the next 20 years and $710 million to be paid out in year 41. Or the contestant could opt for a lump sum payment of $250 million. The $1 million prize was paid in a lump sum.
To date, the $1 billion prize is the largest ever offered on a US game show.